Scottish man receives football ban for abusing young disabled fan
A 20-year old Scottish man has been banned from attending football matches after abusing a young disabled fan online.
Ross Gibson tweeted a photograph of 11-year old Jay Beatty, a well-known disabled Celtic fan, in March last year. It was accompanied by an abusive message calling Jay a "disabled piece of s**t".
Jay rose to prominence after winning Scotland's goal of the month competition in January 2015. He was brought onto the pitch at half time in a match between Hamilton and Celtic, and scored in front of the Celtic supporters.
Gibson closed his Twitter account hours after posting the message, after his tweet had been shared widely and caused outrage.
Police charged Gibson with acting in a threatening and abusive manner, aggravated by prejudice of disability and religion. He had also sent sectarian tweets and offensive remarks about the late sister of Celtic's captain, Scott Brown, and former Celtic player and manager Tommy Burns. Gibson admitted the charge.
Sheriff David Hall ordered Gibson to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work in the community and banned him from attending any professional or junior football matches for a year.
Hall said, "This was a serious offence. Picking on vulnerable individuals is simply not acceptable".